Medical physicist Lucy Warren is set to be awarded the prestigious BJR Barclay Medal for authoring an article which compared the risks and benefits of screening. Co-authors included Professor Kenneth Young and Professor David Dance.
Breast screening is performed using mammography, which produces an x-ray image of the breast and aims to detect cancer at an early stage.
The paper found that the number of lives saved as a result of breast cancer greatly outweighed the very small risk of harm from the radiation used to image the breast.
Dr Warren’s paper published in the British Journal of Radiology (BJR) and aimed at fellow clinical scientists.
The BJR Barclay Medal was founded in 1952 and is awarded to the author whose contribution to the journal is not only a piece of original research, but is also deemed to be of special merit.
Dr Warren has worked at Royal Surrey for the past seven-and-a-half years and her post is funded by Cancer Research UK.
She is part of a research programme called OPTIMAM2 that aims to optimise breast imaging in order to improve cancer detection and characterisation in screening and diagnosis.
Dr Warren she was ‘shocked’ to learn she had been selected to receive the prestigious honour, which she will receive at the British Institute of Radiologists annual conference in November.
“This research is important because there has been an abundance of new technologies developed in the last five to 10 years, during which breast screening has transitioned from film-screening to digital technology,” she said.
“Our research investigates the best way to use these technologies to improve the NHS Breast Screening Programme and will benefit the women who need this service.”
Dr Warren and the OPTIMAM2 team are now looking at how digital breast tomosynthesis can be used in breast screening. Unlike traditional mammography that can only offer a two dimensional view, tomosynthesis uses a curved x-ray motion to build a three-dimensional picture of breast tissue.